Democrat Neil Abercrombie has been elected Hawaii’s next governor, according to the Associated Press based on results from its exit polls and early returns.
Abercrombie will be the state’s first Democratic governor in eight years, succeeding GOP Gov. Linda Lingle when he is sworn in on Dec. 6.
Abercrombie, a former 10-term congressman who represented urban Honolulu, defeated Republican James “Duke” Aiona.
Abercrombie’s victory also made former state Democratic Party Chairman Brian Schatz the new lieutenant governor. In Hawaii, candidates for the state’s top two posts run on a ticket.
Aiona had been lieutenant governor.